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Fridge Brilliance


  • Luffy's manner of dress (loose, sleeveless jacket, cut-off jeans, sandals) just seemed like beachwear, but after reading Required Secondary Powers, it occurred to me that it was possibly selected by Luffy after he ruined too many jumpers whilst training his Rubber Man powers — allowing him to stretch without ripping his clothes. - User:Ack Sed.
    • His new outfit, well shirt, reflects his improved control and uses of said powers, especially the fact that the sleeves extend out-- Otakukun
  • For a while it bothered me that the Admirals and other major players all had such ridiculously overpowered Devil Fruit powers; I quickly realized that causality went the other way, and that they rose to that rank because of their powers being what they were (or they pulled a Blackbeard and sought that one out particularly).
  • The Vivre Card turns out to be made from fingernails. After reading up on nautical superstitions for a class, it turns out that it was believed to be very unlucky to cut one's fingernails while on ship. It might just be coincidence, but knowing that Oda does do the research probably means that this wasn't an accident.
  • In chapter 0, which acted both as a warm up for One Piece Strong World as well as a general background for older characters, Garp and Sengoku team up against Shiki in a huge battle which levelled half of Marineford. Unfortunately, the battle itself is never shown, simply the fighters preparing to do battle and the chaotic aftermath. I was beyond annoyed at what was perceived to be a wasted opportunity. However the current chapter reveals that a similar team up will occur against Whitebeard! In not showing us the battle itself and only hinting at the destruction the old fighters were able to wield in their prime, Oda has only heightened the tension and expectation for an ultimate battle to show case the strength of the old generation!
  • Garp has a scar around his left eye, the bottom part of which looks uncannily like Luffy's. Remember, now, that Luffy gave himself that scar in order to seem tough. That's not just Fridge Brilliance, that's Fridge Adorable. - Pika Bot
  • At first Sir Crocodile just sounds like a cool name, but under a bit of scrutiny it becomes extremely meaningful/ironic. The most obvious is the fact that with the hook and being a pirate, he's a pretty strong shout out to Peter Pan. Then comes the fact that like any other DF user, he can't swim. Not only that, but water is his main weakness. If he so much as touches water, he can't use his powers, a sharp contrast to his namesake, which pretty much live in water. Finally there's his DF power (sand) and the fact that the island that he was the "hero" and "protector" of is a desert.
    • Also note, in that Peter Pan shout out, that Crocodile's named after the creature that ate Captain Hook's hand, necessitating the hook. — Sgamer 82
    • Another thing to consider with Peter Pan is that Hook could not swim in the waters due to the crocodile wanted to eat him (because hook's hand tasted so good), Hook was probably at his safest on land where there was no large body of water nearby (water=crocodiles), so a place like the desert which has no large bodies of water close by would probably be the safest place for Hook. Also Sir Crocodile in One Piece has a pet crocodile.
  • While thinking about Luffy, Ace, and Garp’s relationship with each other I realized why Garp tried so hard to turn Luffy and Ace into marines. He did it because he wanted to prove that children don’t inherit the sins of the father, and in making them strong marines he would also be able to keep them safe because the World Government and marines would have no reason to hunt them or think of them as threats or monsters. - Cryoflar3
    • It also serves as a proper justification for Luffy and Ace's moral compasses. One would initially assume that since Luffy is the hero of the story, he's bound to be a good person. Garp's secretly proud of his two grandsons because he knows that while they are labeled as criminals, he's taught them to be good people.
  • Sanji was the only one who didn't get his picture taken for the bounty photos. This has to do with the fact that he often does stuff off-screen, such as being subject to Kalifa's powers during their fight, getting kidnapped by Moriah, and his run as Mr. Prince.
  • Earlier in the manga, Bellamy mocks Luffy, Cricket and the Saruyama alliance for their dreams, even calling them the "same species" to top it off. At first it seems to be just a jab at Luffy's intelligence, but when you consider his animal motif...
  • The Devil Fruits are a fantastic source of Competitive Balance; no matter how strong Luffy gets, he will never be as effective underwater as Sanji, or even Usopp. - Confusion567
    • This point is similarly reminiscent of Sun Wukong's abilities (Journey to the West was the inspiration for Dragon Ball, at least initially). Though he is by far the strongest of the group, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing are still more effective water combatants than he is.- Blueflame724
  • in one of the SBS segments, Oda states that "Monkey D.Luffy" and "Roronoa Zoro" are the Japanese "family name first, personal name last" ways of writing their names. Which means the English way for Luffy would be Luffy D. Monkey!
  • For something that's supposed to occur only once in a million people, the list of people who can use Haoshoku Haki in the series is pretty long. And yet, it's clear that almost all the characters that are shown to have this ability are among the strongest in the series.
  • I always assumed that Luffy's getting better ridiculously fast after anything that happens to him had no logical cause, but I only just realised it's as a result of his Devil Fruit ability. He's made of rubber, and rubber always bounces back.
  • One for me is that Chopper, after the Time Skip, has learned to use six out of his seven Transformations without the Rumble Ball. While this is a perfectly natural extension of his powers, it occurred to me it could well have been inspired by his fights at Enies Lobby. Not just in learning to control Monster Point, but also because his opponent in that arc used Biofeedback, enabling him to change and manipulate his own body at will.
  • I just now realized a detail regarding the "Where are they now?" Cover story that's been running since the about the start of Fishman Island. The covers detailing residents of Impel Down, the place widely regarded as "Hell on Earth" are taking place during the 660s, with the final one taking place at the prison itself being Bon Clay ruling Newkama Land in chapter 666.

East Blue Saga

  • The Strawhat crew's visit to Loguetown was difficult to swallow at first. Luffy wanders all over the place trying to get to the square where Roger was executed. He even finds it once, then gets lost again! He only manages to get back to the square because the wind happens to pick up and carry his hat there. So he climbs to the top of the tower where Roger died, when suddenly Buggy pins him down. Buggy's inches away from decapitating Luffy, when the tower is struck by lightning. Luffy is unharmed (lucky rubber boy!), and Buggy is incapacitated. Meanwhile, both Buggy's subordinate and the local Marines are trying to blow up or burn down the Going Merry, but it starts raining, thus foiling their plots. After escaping the square, Luffy is running back to the ship, when Captain Smoker captures him. At this point, Dragon appears "out-of-nowhere" and sets Luffy free. The Strawhats all get back to the ship and an immense wind speeds them ahead of any potential pursuit. Captain Smoker gapes at just how ridiculously lucky Luffy has been. But not a one of these events was chance or luck. Dragon did it. Dragon apparently possesses the kaze kaze no mi: He is the Wind Logia. He also shares some of Nami's weather-control knowledge. And he's been watching Luffy all throughout Loguetown, but is apparently too shy to look his son in the face. But I can just see Dragon face-palming the whole time he's watching his son. - Mothuzad Keen
    • You do realize this is Fridge Logic and not Wild Mass Guessing, right?
    • The only part of the above that is unfounded guessing is how Dragon manipulated the events, not if he was behind it. Whether Dragon has a DF, a weather machine or a thus far unexplored form of Haki, he very likely was guiding and protecting Luffy in Loguetown.
    • Guys: "Dragon". Mythical zoan. Eastern dragons make it rain. The math - do it.
      • That's still Wild Mass Guessing.
  • Apis's Whisper-Whisper Fruit is played up to be the weakest and most ineffective of all Devil Fruits. All she gets is the ability to communicate with animals. But this is a world where most of the animals are ridiculously deadly. Apis has the right personality and demeanor to get animals to join her side. For starters, she could freely travel about the Calm Belt because she can befriend a Sea King. She can make her way to Rusukaina and became pals with all the creatures there. She'd have an army 500 Luffies strong. She could break into Impel Down, and since much of the prison's muscle are animals, she could turn them against the staff and cripple the prison. She could sway the super-strong bugs in the Boin Archipelago to her side. And there are very likely even stronger animals in the New World, so this is far from the limits of her potential.
    • Ehrm, it pains me to destroy your theory: the One Piece Wiki stated that the Hiso Hiso no mi allows Apis to understand animals and talk to them, but it gives her no power whatsoever over their will. So she could ask to a Sea King for a passage, but wheter it accepts or not is up to the beast.
      • The first troper was saying she would befriend them and get them to do all that, not control them.
      • Sorry again, but befriending something that sees you as a tasty easy little snack? Even in Real Life, making friends isn't really that easy, let alone giant fierce animals capable of destroying whole countries by themselves.
        • In real life, most animals are fairly docile and peaceful when not hungry or in danger. You leave them alone, they leave you alone. (There are definitely some exceptions, such as badgers and tigers though.) I would presume the One Piece world's fauna works in a similar way. There have already been cases of powerful hostile animals turning friendly through someone able to communicate with them, such as the birds on the Torino Kingdom and Shirahoshi with the Sea Kings, so I wouldn't consider it beyond Apis's ability and her charismatic, gentle nature to convince the animals to come to her side. And if one can't be negotiated with, they can be forcibly put to one's side through triumph in battle, such as with Cerberus and Momoo. I don't think Apis has that kind of personality, but a user of the Whisper-Whisper Fruit could conceivably do that with animals they've befriended.
  • At first during the Arlong Arc, I always thought Arlong was bribing the marines to keep their mouths shut because he just wanted to stay hidden for simple reasons, like not having the marines chase him or to just relax. But after recent chapters, it got me that the only reason Arlong was freed was because Jinbe became a Warlord of the Sea, and if word got up to Marine HQ that Arlong was terrorizing a small island, Jinbe would have no doubt gone there and solved the problem himself. Arlong was bribing the marines because he didn't want to get Jinbe on him!
  • Oda's Foreshadowing in general is amazing. The examples are uncountable, and many of them are quite subtle, but here's a pair:
    • In Loguetown and just before reaching Alabasta, Nami is shown to have an exceptional weather sense (she predicts the huge windstorm that Dragon uses to save Luffy, and then a big cyclone with no plot significance. Then, at the end of the Alabasta arc, Nami's new weapon turns out to be weather control!.
    • From way, way early in the series, even before meeting Sanji, Luffy says he wants a musician on the crew (the line, paraphrased, is something like "Man, I hate not having good food out here. You know what we need on this crew? A MUSICIAN!"). He repeats this a number of times, ("Luffy, since we all got so injured in that fight, you should really add to the crew--" "A musician, I know!"), and then with Brook, they finally have a musician... Hundreds of chapters later! - Confusion567
  • All the way back in the Lougetown arc, Luffy was about to be executed by Buggy on the execution platform when it was struck by lightning. While Buggy is fried, and the platform burnt down, Luffy is miraculously unscathed. Cut to the Skypiea arc, and he is proven to be immune to Eneru's Lightning. Luffy's immunity to lightning was fore-shadowed very early on.
  • After the execution stand is struck down by lightning in Lougetown, Sanji asks Zoro if he believes in God. A few arcs later we end up in Skypiea, where resident A God Am I Eneru uses, yup, lightning.

Drum Island Arc

  • The noble quack doctor Hiruluk's last words are as follows "Sooner or later, I will die anyway. But a man does not die when he is shot. Nor does he die to disease, nor to eating a poison mushroom! He does not die due to a sword! A man dies when he is forgotten!" So what is he saying? If a man is remembered, he will never die. Flash forward to Gold Roger's old first mate recounting the man's last words to him before facing his execution because he's going to die soon anyway, due to a disease: "I won't die, partner." He then goes on to spark the Golden Age of Piracy with his last words, ensuring that he will never be forgotten. Not only do their death scenes parallel each other perfectly (Roger's death being grander), Gold Roger and Hiruluk have the same philosophy on death; Hiruluk probably picked it up from Gold Roger during their youth! -Enlong
    • I'm currently working on the theory that the entire show is Gold Roger's inherited will. -Confusion567
  • A running gag in the Drum Kingdom arc was Luffy consistently having a delayed reaction to the cold weather around him. At least two or three occasions went by where Luffy was slow on the uptake, usually only noticing the cold after someone else pointed it out. At first glance this is just a joke at Luffy's idiocy, but then I realized: Isnt rubber an insulator? To be honest, I don't know if that's how it works here, but it made me realize that it's quite possible that Luffy actually can't feel cold right away. His insulated rubber body gives him a slightly higher tolerance for cold than most. He's hardly immune (Aokiji aside he nearly froze to death in Drum), but he is noticeably hardier in the cold than others. — Sgamer 82
    • Oddly enough, Luffy seems no less sensitive to heat than normal people. — User:Rampulus
    • Rubber is an ELECTRIC insulator, which has nothing to do with temperature conductivity. People pointing it out to him wouldn't suddenly make him cold, it was simply done for laughs.
  • I was looking at picture of the Crowning Moment of Heartwarming page when something hit me. The picture on that page is the "cherry blossoms" from the end of the Drum arc. While truly an awesome and heartwarming moment, only when I happened to look at that picture at this moment did it hit me: The combination of the giant pink cloud and the sheer cliffs of the Drum Rockies look like an actual giant cherry tree.

Alabasta Arc

  • So, in the Alabasta arc, after Luffy's defeat by Crocodile, Robin saves him, and questions why "those with the initial of D. are so persistent." Of course, she was talking from experience.
  • In the Baroque works saga, Bon Kurei announces his special technique-- composite face changing, where he can change each part of his face-- and announces that he will create the strangest face known to man! five seconds later, he turns back with, quote "90% of his own face". That was funny in and of itself (see: the ten-second long awkward silence afterwards) but what I only realized the second time watching was the the 10% he changed was his nose... To Usopp's.
  • A moment of Fridge Brilliance that occurred to me a while ago regarding the Alabasta arc. The key element that allowed the Straw Hats to escape Crocodile's fiendishly clever trap was the fact that Crocodile's information about the Straw Hats was incomplete, which allowed Sanji (who he never knew about) and Chopper (who he dismissed as a pet) to trick him. It wasn't for a long time that I realized he should have known about Sanji all along. The Unluckies only identified Luffy, Zoro, and Nami at Whiskey Peak, and the Mr. 3 and 5 pairs met Usopp at Little Garden. But in between Miss All-Sunday met all five current Straw Hats. The fact that Crocodile didn't know about Sanji despite his own Dragon having met him makes you realize Robin was undermining Crocodile's activities even then.
  • Okay, so during the final battle between Luffy and Crocodile, Antonin Dvorak's 9th symphony played during Luffy's finishing move. I love the New World Symphony and all, but I didn't realize the following until almost a year after I watched the episode, when I was literally removing food from my refrigerator. Get this: baroque music was playing during the defeat of the leader of Baroque works.
    • About that... Dvorak composed "romantic" music not "Baroque"
    • That only inspires another Fridge Brilliance: It's used for the triumph of romantic ideas, which Crocodile was just criticizing Luffy for having!
    • More brilliance... the name of the music played is From The New world. I'm not sure if this is just a coincidence or more foreshadowing on Oda's part, but what's the name of the latter half of the Grand Line that makes the first half seem like paradise?
    • Well, Oda really doesn't take much if any control when it comes to the anime, but that just makes everything awesome in hindsight.
    • In the same vein, Oda stated in his SBS that the characters were in love "with adventure" in order to justify not having romance (the more serious reason being Romantic Plot Tumor). This actually makes a great deal of sense however; Luffy's all about going on adventures and fulfilling "a man's romance"! The journeys that each character takes to achieve their dreams only reinforces that. As opposed to most heroes who only want to get stronger, Luffy really cares about the adventure that he goes on to become Pirate King, not so necessarily about being the strongest. After the war, it seems that Luffy even reinvigorated Crocodile's motivation as well. Romance is's just not the kind you're thinking of.
  • It struck me as odd that the swan-themed Mr 2 Bon Kurei was the only male member of Baroque Works that didn't have a number motif in his character design. But then I realized it was there all along- swans have the same shape as the number 2!
  • Actually a comment from One Piece Wiki: During the Alabasta arc, Ace tells Luffy that they will meet at "the summit". Though it's said to be a mistranslation (It was more "they will meet again after becoming great pirates), it makes sense. Where does Luffy finally meet Ace? At Marine Headquarters, in a battle of the three great powers!- Blueflame724
  • In Crocodile's first fight with Luffy, when they were in the desert, he said he was unbeatable there. Simple villainous boasting? Yes, but it was proven to be true, Luffy only managed to defeat Crocodile when they met inside a city. Looking at what he could do in the desert as opposed to the capital (where his powers were limited by lack of sand) it's entirely possible Luffy would've never beaten him if their third fight didn't occur where it did.
  • Another one for Crocodile. A lot of people thought for a long time that Crocodile was one of the weakest Warlord of the Sea because his former bounty was so low compared to the others, and in a few cases were confused as to how he was holding his own so well in Marineford. His low former bounty should actually be seen as proof of how tough he is. See, it's easy for pirates with bounties exceeding 300,000,000 beri like Gecko Moria and Doflamingo to have the intimidating reputations a Warlord needs, but it takes a special breed of Badass to makes the Marines suddenly realize that they need you on their side before your bounty even comes close to getting that far.
    • As for how he lost to Luffy, pay attention to the third fight; Crocodile almost never uses his powers throughout it. He himself stated that his mastery over his Devil Fruit powers were his main claim to power, and he forgoes using them in favor of simple meleeing, which is Luffy's specialty. He attempted an I Am Not Left-Handed gambit, and severely miscalculated.
    • Also, pay attention during the fights Crocodile gets into in Marineford. No one ever attempts to use water to land hits on him like Luffy does, and his opponents are the other Warlords (His former allies) and Whitebeard's crew (Who he fought at one point), the people who logically should know more about his fighting ability than anyone else Crocodile would be facing. With Crocodile's ability to instantly dry up moisture, Luffy may very well be the only one who actually knows about this weakness(Well, except Robin and the few people in Alabasta who saw Luffy using water to kick Crocodile's ass, of course).
    • You don't need to use water to hit Crocodile if you have armor haki. Armor haki makes it so that a devil fruit user's physical(real) body will be hit. While the marines, Seven Warlords and Whitebeard pirates may or may not know of his weakness to being hit by water or wet objects, why go through the trouble of soaking your limbs when you have access to haki and seastone?
      • The point of the above argument is that people who believe that Crocodile is one of the weak Warlords bring up that his vulnerability to water in the mostly-oceanic One Piece world is an apparent Weaksauce Weakness. Basically, the idea here is that not only is Crocodile capable of negating that weakness in most situations, it's entirely likely that no one even knows about that weakness.
      • Also, just pointing it out, but seastone is almost exclusively available to the Marines, and is used mostly for building their prisons and coating their ships so they can avoid Sea Kings; it's almost never used as a weapon against Devil Fruit users.

Skypiea Arc

  • Fairly early on in the Skypiea arc Eneru's powers are shown for the first time when he tries to kill Conis for trying to convince the Strawhat guys to run away. The first time you read the chapter it looks like a straightforward sequence of events that you wouldn't question; Luffy manages to dodge the blast long enough for Gan Fall to swoop in and pull them the rest of the way to safety. But, if you reread the sequence later you'll notice that Gan Fall pops up with them through the massive hole in the clouds left by Eneru's blast, implying that he wasn't actually the one who saved them, he just caught them once they were blown through the ground. Which means that this is actually neatly foreshadowing Luffy's immunity to Eneru's lightning, diguised in a way that people wouldn't think twice about. It also means that Conis is very lucky that he held her close enough to shield her while trying to dodge.
  • Chapter 597 made this fridge brilliance hit me like a ton of bricks. The entire Skypiea arc WASN'T ultimetly pointless to the rest of the plot, as most fans have dubbed it to be. In Skypiea, we see several examples of what we will eventually know as Haki, displaying several different types of it and what exactly can be done with it. In other words, the entire arc is ONE MASSIVE PIECE OF FORSHADOWING. - User:Toa Novu
    • There's also the fact that the Skypeia Arc gets the crew treasure, giving them enough money to warrant a visit to Galley-La in Water 7, starting off the conflict with Usopp during the CP9 saga.
    • In fact, the immense strain put on the ship from the journey to Skypiea is a large factor in why the Going Merry broke down.
    • The 'dial' technology introduced there was later integrated into Nami's and Ussop's weapons, giving a completely logical explanation for their sudden increase in power.
    • It reinforced that "Gold Roger" is in fact "Gol D. Roger". Readers didn't think anything about Ace having a D. because Luffy's brother, but seeing the King of the Pirates sporting the initial made the whole 'Will of D.' thing a pretty big deal.
      • And it also served as Foreshadowing that the Roger pirates had figured out the Lost 100 Years.
    • And the Poneglyph in Skypiea will be important in the Fishman Island Arc, and possibly much more important latter.
  • During a meeting between Gan Fall and a young Wiper, Wiper's Berserk Button was pressed when Gan Fall mentioned he enjoyed drinking pumpkin juice, leading to him to irrationally attack Gan Fall. At first, it seemed rather strange for Wiper to flip out over something like that. Then we see in the flashback of Norland and Wiper's ancestor Calgara, Norland introduced pumpkins to Shandians. So it was possible that pumpkins were considered sacred to the Shandians or perhaps Wiper felt that pumpkins belonged specifically to the Shandians and for outsiders to enjoy it must have felt like an offence to him.

Water 7 / Enies Lobby Arcs

  • In the scene where Luffy and Usopp were fighting about the fate of Going Merry, Zoro was the only one who barely reacted to the situation, keeping a calm head, when everyone else was arguing and yelling. At first, even I thought that it was a little cold of Zoro to be like that. Then, I thought about how everyone was actively trying to stop the fight, while Zoro simply let it went as it did. Even if they managed to stop the fight, Luffy and Usopp would have butted heads over the matter again sooner or later. And imagine what would have happen if they fought later on while trying to rescue Robin? It would have brought everyone's morals down and made their teamwork less effective.
  • Remember when Spandam was boasting to Luffy about the power the World Government wields, and asking Luffy if he could possibly understand what defying the WG to rescue Robin from Enies Lobby would mean? Luffy's response then was: "Yes, I understand exactly how the WG thinks." Taken at face value, it could be seen as simply Luffy being Badass enough to not cower before Spandam. However, if you take into consideration the fact that the World Nobles were responsible for the death of Sabo waaaay back in Luffy's childhood, Luffy's declaration to Spandam takes on a whole new level of deep meaning. Essentially, he's got a really deep-seated desire for vengeance against the entire WG and the World Nobles in particular that he keeps well-hidden behind his idiotic smile at all times.--Justice Reaper
    • From the same troper: This also lends some rather heavy significance to Luffy's words to Vivi during the Alabasta arc, words which, in retrospect, he said to her because he himself had to learn the truth of those words the hard way. "Vivi...people die."
  • This troper got to thinking about Aokiji warning Luffy repeatedly that having Robin aboard his ship would spell certain doom for the Straw Hats...and is struck by how closely that mirrors the old sailor's superstition that it's bad luck to have a woman aboard.
    • But...they had Nami on board their ship for quite a while before they got Robin, and Vivi as well...
      • Both of whom kick-started the Arlong arc (where Nami steals the ship and leaves the crew) and the Alabasta arc (where they get involved in politics, and Luffy, you know... met Crocodile) respectively.
      • Almost all of Luffy's bounties/raises were also due to these incidents.
  • So I was wondering, what's the deal with CP9!? They are still way low on the Sorting Algorithm of Evil (Think lv 50 boss out of 200) when they can be beaten, by the Strawhats, and by extension, all eleven supernova crews, then there are the World Powers, and basically everyone in the New World... But then I realized something, CP9 are assassins!, They don't need strength, because even Mihawk would die if you slit his throat in his sleep; in other words, CP9's strength is only proportional to their quality as assassins, which is also why everybody else in CP9 seems to hate Fukouro
    • In addition, it's highly probable that they're the best of Cipher Pol not only because they were strong but also because they were good at gathering info and other spy stuff (like, yeah, assassination). It's a testament to their ability that they managed to even give a good fight to the Straw Hats, despite direct combat technically not being their strong suit.

Thriller Bark Arc

  • Moriah is the subject of a lot of hate for being a Flunky Boss and for going down easily when he went One-Winged Angel and at Marineford. But he's not shaped like that (entirely) because it's funny, since we've seen him at Roger's execution looking slim and muscular: His defeat at Kaidou's hands led him to become morbidly obese, and therefore has very poor motility and hand-to-hand combat, which he was forced to rely on both times he seemed to have been worfed.

Sabaody Archipelago Arc

  • Despite the unbridled awesome to come, I was somewhat disappointed after the Strawhat crew were scattered across the globe by Kuma and the manga's focus shifted almost entirely to Luffy with only hints of what the others were going through. Upon consideration, however, it could be brilliant because when the anime catches up, instead of making up Filler Arcs to give the manga time to pull ahead again, the animation team will be able to spend time telling the stories of the rest of the crew.
    • Perhaps the most brilliant part of the separation arc occurs at the end after Luffy's heartbreaking loss of his brother. After focusing on Luffy for so long the crew is pushed to the back of the reader's mind, as they were pushed to the back of Luffy's. In this way, his realization that he has not lost everything and wants to see his crew becomes that much more poignant and accessible to the reader. It allows us to feel the chunk of time they weren't together more personally.
  • Some of the logia powers shown so far in the manga have all had a element of mystery. Kizaru is once heard mumble a cryptic Pre-Mortem One-Liner Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner - "Light is...weight." If one isn't familiar with Einstein's relativiety theory, it makes absolutely no sense. - Spirit Of Sahara
    • For the sake of those that aren't familiar, I'll dissect the comment; Things get more massive (and usually heavier as a result) as they get faster, and reaching the speed of light gives you infinite mass (infinate weight if there's anything with gravity nearby). Light can do it because it had no mass to begin with, so infinity times nothing is still nothing. Kizaru's immense destructive power need not be superhuman strength at all, as if he kicked someone at the speed of light, he would have to turn back at that speed to be solid, giving him a mass that rivals a black hole for the instant it takes him to slow down. And according to Newton that makes the force greater than.... I'll stop there.
    • The bottom line being that Kizaru's mass destructive powers are actually based on solid physics, and that Oda did the research yet again. The other Fridge logic being that Kizaru is much, much, smarter than he appears at first glance.
  • Bartholomew Kuma says "If you're going on a trip, where would you like to go?" before vanished to a far away location, possibly torn away from Nakama, and you have no way of getting back anytime soon...except every time he's done this, has taken them 'exactly where they want to go or need to be. This gives an impression he's benevolent, and/or a very good Chessmaster.
    • And after the two year time skip, Brook has become a celebrity soul musician. Why hasn't he been arrested after these two years? Because no one from Marine HQ knows that he is part of the Straw Hats yet, and therefore, despite him having a bounty while alive, has no price on his head.
      • This also explains why there are people impersonating each of the Straw Hats except for Brook.
      • They're aware now.
    • Whitebeard (Edward) and Blackbeard's (Teach) names are based of a single real pirate: "Blackbeard" Edward Teach. Now that Blackbeard has aborbed Whitebeard's DF and killed him, Blackbeard has metaphorically become the real Edward Teach. Could Oda have really planned this from the start?!
      •'s pretty obvious that he did.

Amazon Lily Arc

  • Several of my friends rolled their eyes when Luffy turned out to have a one-in-a-million superpowerful Haki in one of the more recent arcs of One Piece, and at first I agreed, since it made Luffy seem more like he was just lucking out into a sort of Chosen One rather than just an insanely determined kid with big dreams. On further reflection, however, it occurred to me that Luffy has ungodly powerful Haki not because he had good genes or a destiny, but because he is Luffy. Luffy's willpower and ambition exceed that of practically any being on the planet, and he acknowledges no authority higher than himself; the World Government's authority means nothing to Luffy, and he even talks to Whitebeard like an equal, to the shock and alarm of nearly everybody, and tells him to his face that he's going to be the pirate king. King's Disposition indeed!
    • Luffy's "King's" Ambition/Haki both grated and ended up making sense for a different reason. What grated was the fact that, assuming the Mook-KO part of the power is exclusive to the King's, this supposedly one-in-a-million power was seen to be possessed by at most four people (Luffy, Hancock, Shanks, and Rayleigh) and the Contrived Coincidence of all of these people winding up in direct contact with Luffy. What actually causes it to make sense though, is the fact that nearly all of these people are among those who have aimed for or reached the top of their game. In that regard, given the escalating nature of the Grand Line, it makes perfect sense that people with this power would show up together even in small groups farther up the Grand Line. I also has a "Wild Mass Guess" that people with this particular form of Ambition are instinctively attracted to one another, explaining how Luffy managed to meet them all. — Sgamer 82
      • Actually, both Ace and Coby have Haki as well, Ace's being similar to Luffy's and Coby's being the ability to hear "voices". Coby's Haki in particular points to the powers of the people of Skypeia (most notably Eneru and his priests, and Aisa) being some form of Haki as well despite going by a different name (likely due to the fact that they were floating in the sky apart from the rest of society).
      • It is possible that other minor events in the series that didn't draw much notice or seem notable at the time may have been perpetrated with the help of Haki ...
        • Pell. Armament Haki. Could be why the plot had Robin take him out before he could get a chance at Crocodile himself.
      • It's not as much of a Contrived Coincidence as it originally seems that so many people with rare and/or powerful Haki end up meeting each other. Nor is it really fridge either. The sniper from Blackbeard's crew (who's name I forget at the moment) stated before that the Grand Line makes strong people meet each other.

Impel Down Arc

  • It has been stated that the winner in a fight is one with the stronger convictions. The straw hats have only lost to Aokiji, Kizaru, Kuma, and Sentoumaru, with a near-loss to Magellan. Combined with Hannyabal's "You Shall Not Pass!" speech and his impressive showing despite having no devil fruit powers, it seems like their convictions are stronger than the Straw Hats. Even villains can have ideals and dreams too...- User:Fish Stampede
    • Well, that's also assuming that all of those characters are straight-out villains. Aokiji seems like a very decent guy ('Lazy Justice' my ass, he was deliberately trying to give Robin a second and even third chance, despite his obvious duty being to kill or capture her.), Kuma may or may not have been an actual good guy at some point, and Kizaru seems more Lawful Neutral than villainous. What must be remembered is that most of these 'villains' are actually protecting people, the normal citizens of their world, from the pirates who would harm them. Luffy's crew is the exception, not the rule. I wouldn't call the enemies 'heroes', but most of them aren't straight-up villains either. Even Akainu, that most bastardy of bastards in the marines, is basically a Well-Intentioned Extremist / Knight Templar with lava powers--he's utterly ruthless and definitely takes things way too far... but he's not deliberately doing cruel or evil things. He doesn't seem to enjoy hurting people, but believes in absolutely NO mercy. In fact, the sheer complexity of every character is what makes Oda-sensei so great... if you compare Luffy's reaction to that of the fans, you'll see that initially, they're similar (both the fans and Luffy see things extremely simply at first; Luffy's simplicity doesn't change, however, even when the situation gets complex). On the other hand, as can be seen here, the situation is immensely complex, and who is or is not a villain/hero can be up to debate, just like in the real world. Despite how over-the-top the show is about EVERYTHING, very few of the characters are overtly and absolutely of a specific alignment--as in real life, you get far more Chaotic Neutral, True Neutral, and Neutral Good characters than you do Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil, and even then, they can't be defined strictly by their alignment.
    • So Akainu's act of murdering a ship-load of Oharans just because an archaeologist MIGHT have been among them is justifiable, then.
    • In his mind, yes. He was ordered to make sure none of the archeologists escaped. He felt he couldn't take even the slightest chance. It doesn't justify it to US. But he was acting "for the good of the world."
      • Keep in mind that hundreds of people had probably already died because of the Buster Call. If any archaeologists escaped, that would mean they died for no reason, and furthermore that OTHER islands further down the line might suffer the same fate.
        • In a way that is true fridge brilliance, afterall Robin did escape, and another island was destroyed. If Akainu's will had been respected Enies Lobby would have been spared.
        • Problem being those people didn't have to die if the government just summary executed the scholars when they were rounded up instead of wiping the island off the map. Also, was it too much for the marines to search the escape ship after it dock to see if they were anyone who snuck onboard? Seeing what happened to their home, I doubt any of those citizens would had protect any scholar. Really, blowing the ship up was an act of laziness and a disregard to human life on Akainu's part.

Marineford Arc

  • While reading over the most recent chapter, something became apparent about the way Whitebeard died. Quite a few characters had wanted to land the killing blow themselves, but in the end, who does it? Not Blackbeard, but the Blackbeard Pirates as a whole, reinforcing how Blackbeard feels about his crew and his Evil Counterpart status with Luffy by having them take part in his big moment. - User:Shotgun Ninja
    • It's more like showing that despite all his big talk and apparent similarities to Luffy, Blackbeard's nothing but a coward. The anime shows it especially well. Whitebeard, despite his condition, is easily trouncing Blackbeard, and you can see the fear in Teach's eyes, and the instant Whitebeard hesitates, Blackbeard calls his crew in to gang up so that he can be sure that he finishes the old man off, rather than risk defeat.
  • This was from a filler part of the War on Marineford arc where Ace is officially made 2nd Commander of Whitebeard's fleet. The crew pulls him in as he eats and crowds on him, which exactly mirrors Chopper's first party as a member of the Straw Hats. Essentially, it was the same dynamic of an outcast that had been taught that he was a monster finally finding acceptance in group that treated him like family! It also gives a heartwarming spin on the Whitebeard pirates' determination to rescue Ace: he's their Chopper! - Pickled Plums
    • You could also draw plenty of comparisons between Ace and Robin. Both had to grow up being told that they were scum simply for existing (even if the people were only being hypothetical with Ace), and both found crews that were perfectly willing to invade heavily defended Government bases in order to get them back. Also, each rescue started somewhat similarly, with Ace/Robin screaming for the Whitebeard/Straw Hat pirates to just leave him/her alone and leave him/her to his/her fate. Followed by the rescuers ignoring the request and just commence with the rescuing anyway.
  • Why did Whitebeards ships come up to Marinford? He had just come from fishman island
    • Or Whitebeard was, you know, getting past the first line of defense
  • In an SBS a while back, Oda said that if a human ate Chopper's Human-Human Fruit, they'd become "enlightened." This is actually foreshadowing Sengoku's powers because he ate the Human-Human Buddha Model Fruit!
  • Luffy is pegged as a threat by the government early on because of his defeats of Buggy, Krieg, and Arlong. This level of danger only escalates in the government's eyes as Luffy's accomplishments increase. This comes to a head during the Paramount War, when Luffy's uncontrolled burst of Haki levels many of the combatants. Sengoku makes Luffy his highest priority short of Whitebeard himself. As noted in a few entries above, King's Haki users are among the most powerful people around, but there's even more to it here. According to Whitebeard, when someone finds the One Piece, it'll shake the world and Sengoku is afraid of that happening. Among the known users of Supreme King Haki, Luffy is the only one seen actively seeking the One Piece and Sengoku knows it. This puts Luffy high on the kill-before-he-can-become-a-serious-threat list.

Post-War Arc

  • First time we meet Ace, he is more or less 100% fangirl bait with a shapely bod, no shirt to hide that or his tattoos, and a cool head to contrast with Luffy's impetuity. However, every facet of this has a reason for existing: he's went under more rigorous training living under Dadan than Luffy (since living under Dadan meant you ate what you hunted); his tattoos actually illustrate very important stages of his pre-story Character Development (the Whitebeard mark being an obvious one to his acceptance of Whitebeard as his true father and the misspelled name on his left arm being a tribute to his first friend Sabo); his flame powers would burn off any shirt he put on since his Logia powers woule instantly activate if anyone tried to hit him torso-up; and his maturity is not only based on him being Luffy's main caretaker when they were kids, but also Sabo's last request to look after him, their little brother. - Rookiez78
  • As part of Designated Protagonist Syndrome, Luffy is often considered to have the least tragic backstory of the main characters. Yet in more recent events, Oda decided to break the "One Piece characters only die in flashbacks" rule, starting with Ace. However, it rather fits Luffy's character; he's the kind of person who doesn't care about the past, as evidenced with his disregard for Robin and Nami's pasts. Therefore, the worst tragedy for the hero himself happens in the present day.
    • Now that we've seen what happened to Sabo, this no longer seems to be true.
    • Nevertheless, It is Ace's death that brings back Luffy's memories.
  • As the date of his execution drew near, Ace told Jinbei that he didn't have to worry about Luffy after meeting the Strawhat crew back in Alabasta. After Ace's death, Jinbei reminds Luffy of his crew, giving him a much-needed snap-out from his Heroic BSOD. The first scene actually makes more sense in the anime, since about 400 episodes ago Ace had spent a good time travelling with the Strawhats, rather than the brief encounter he had with them in the manga. In other words (at least in the anime's context), what we thought of as filler episodes with one of the series' Ensemble Darkhorses a few years ago indirectly led to one of Luffy's most crucial moments in the whole story. - Rookiez78

Return to Sabaody Arc

Fishman Island Arc

  • Hody Jones is what Arlong would have become if he hadn't fought Kizaru. Hody is very similar to Arlong, but with one major difference: he's never been to the surface. He's always been on fishman island, the big fish in the small pond. Arlong saw the strength of others, and found out just how small he was. Arlong knows to lay low, Hody thinks he can chew the admirals up and spit them out - Jcogginsa
  • Luffy declares during Fishman Island that he has no desire to become a hero, and explains it using an example of having a huge piece of meat that a pirate would devour himself and a hero would share. He wants to eat meat! The beauty of this outlook is that, if that were true, Luffy would get meat whatever happens! To Luffy, being a pirate is more than just a dream, it's a Xanatos Gambit. — Sgamer 82
  • Franky's nipple lights. Why? How is he supposed to see if he's using his eyes as lights?
  • As disappointing as it is that Jinbe turns down Luffy's invitation to joining the Straw Hats until a later time, Oda has a good reason for it. Right now, Jinbe's bounty is higher than Luffy's, which would go against Oda's rule of having a member of the crew with an higher bounty than Luffy (Zoro, despite being equal to Luffy, has a lower bounty). Obviously, during the time between now and Jinbe returning to join the Straw Hats, Luffy's bounty is going to get a major increase.

Fridge Horror

  • Brook is pretty lucky, considering how if he had found his body earlier (but still having gotten lost), he would have been a rotting zombie. Being 100% skeleton runs on nonsenseum, but if he still had flesh when he came back to life, would he have become a leper due to all the bacteria that were decomposing his body? All the other undead have been preserved (IE Odz) or made from fresh corpses, while Brook's body has been completely exposed to the elements for 50 years.
  • Two of the Devil's Fruit powers of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, Barholomew Kuma and Marshall D. Teach can be this. Kuma's power is pushing anything, which one such example is pushing people so fast that it's akin to teleporting. Now, there's nothing saying he can't poof you to the center of the sun or thousands of miles under the sea, and there's nothing you can do about it. Teach's power is basically being a living Black Hole, and during his raid on Impel Down, he sucks in some guards inside of him, and later expels them. The guards are horribly crushed, bleeding, and can only mutter Darkness!, meaning no light, and being crushed by gravity, utterly helpless to avoid it. Boa Hancock's power of turning people to stone could have been this, but they are unconscious while turned into stone.
    • You think Kuma's powers is bad? You haven't seen half of it. He can literally push pain and injuries away from one's body (and that's nightmare fuel in itself), so what stops him from pushing your soul out? Maybe...The characters have no soul. Now this is Nightmare Fuel.
      • He probably just never though of it. If he did, he probably wouldn't WANT to do that to someone. Seriously, that's just way to cruel, even for Complete Monsters.
      • They have souls. Brook's one was seen when he explained his powers. So, yup, he can push your soul out....
  • Upon getting a good look at Franky with his skin burned off, we can get a good idea of just how much of his body was replaced when he became a cyborg. But then, keep in mind that he did all these modifications by himself, on a rusted old ship, without any anaesthetic. Look at just how much metal he's got in there, and try to imagine doing that to yourself. Then try not to barf.
  • There's also the implications of the Pacifista project in which Barholomew Kuma was on, substituting his body part by part until they finally ripped off his personality and free will.
  • There were several marines and pirates who had half of their face turned to stone by Boa Hancock when she kicked them. That part of their head or face now is frozen in stone possibly forever (seeing how Hancock isn't so forgiving to men) and also cracked and shattered from her kicks. Even if Hancock reversed the process, they have a gaping hole where their brain and face should be.
  • Decken had been stalking Princess Shirahoshi for 10 years. It has been revealed in chapter 622 (which took place 15 years ago from present time) shows Shirahoshi as an infant. That means when Decken first touched Shirahoshi, she was around six years old.
    • Chapter 625 reveals that the real reason why Decken wanted to marry Shirahoshi was because of her special ability to summon Sea Kings. He wanted to marry a six year old just to get her powers. It doesn't make it any less creepier.
      • 626 reveals that He's after a large stash of treasure somehow related to Shirahoshi's powers, and intended to use a magic item to age her, so that makes it...slightly less creepy?
      • Oooh, there's more: It was revealed that said treasure was the Energy Steroids pills, which can make the user stronger and stronger but eventually make him/her grow old when overdone. So, yup, he was going to feed a 6-years old girl steroids.
  • After escaping from the Straw Hats, Caribou has been kidnapping mermaids and planning to sell them later. Said mermaids happen to be pretty, curious and friendly. Caribou also happens to be a homicidal serial killer who wanted to privately ambush Nami in her room when he was captured.
  • At the beginning of the Skypiea arc, we are shown a ship that fell from the sky, with all the crew long dead. It is later that we find out that said ship, and all those aboard had been given the slow death sentence of Cloud Drifting. This means that these poor saps weren't all killed by the Skypieans, they drifted around on that cloud for years, surely they must've run out of food. Now this is where it gets the horror from, after exhausting all their food supplies, what's left on the ship to eat? The crew. Just consider that little fact for a while, before we move on, in order for a slim chance of some of the crew surviving, they more than likely had to eat each other, which may have been a last resort on their part. In fact, we have no idea the level of their bond as crewmates were. However, we do know that the latest people, thus far, to receive the life sentence of Cloud Drifting, 3/4 of Eneru's priests, none of whom like each other, and considering that Hatori is the plumpest, and the weakest of the trio, guess who was most likely first.
  • Kuma's power is to push something. Now beyond physical objects, like people, he can push medical conditions from people as well, even if a fraction of it, like Luffy's pain. Now we know he was key in making the Pacifistas with that doctor and Admiral Kizaru. Now, if we assume the Devil Fruit alters the most basic parts of its user, then it is a physical condition. These points make me realize Kuma could strip a person of a Devil Fruit power permanently. Hell, he could even push the life out of a person, considering he was called The Tyrant in the past. To me, he has the scariest power in the One Piece Universe, beating out even Blackbeard's. - isoycrazy
  • Trafalgar Law's Devil Fruit ability allows him to literally dis-assemble opponents, and put them back together anyway he desires, such as attaching a head to a barrel. We don't know if the disassembly effects persist after he dis-engages the sphere, but I just realized what would happen if Trafalgar Law simply disassembled someone, and then released the technique...*SPLAT*
    • No, we know it keeps going. After his first use of it, he held the marine's head in his hands for quite a while. I just hope there's a time limit to the thing, or the entire platoon he rearranged is gonna have some serious problems (I'm not sure which one was worse, the guy with two torsos or the head with someone else's feet).
  • Boa Hancock's childish and borderline ridiculous obsession with Luffy and love is a result of her being made into a slave at age 12 or 13 and enduring unspeakable abuse at the hands of her masters, who were the first men she had ever met up close. When you think of it, it's much less ridiculous... and much more horrifying and sad, as it means that despite all of the power and strength she adquired upon the years, Hancock still has the mentality of a very young girl — one who was horribly abused in many ways, which wrecked her view of the world. And Luffy is one of the first males who offered her something akin to genuine kindness. No wonder she clings to him.
  • If the Straw Hat crew didn't arrive to Fishman Island at the time they did, Hody Jones would have taken over Fishman Island and he would have begun his plan to kill everyone at the next Reverie, which included princess Vivi who will be representing her father and Alabasta.
    • Or.. They would have all been killed and destroyed by Big Mom. Can you imagine such an hungry behemoth feasting on the fish-people?
  • In a flashback of chapter 644, Hody was shown actively terrorizing fishmen who had given blood to humans by burning down their houses. This happened when he was a member of Neptune's army and Prince Fukaboshi pretty much admits that they neglected to reach out to those in the Fishman District. How many Fishmen and Fishwomen were attacked by Hody under the watch of the Neptune army?
    • Remember that one Fishman that Otohime was seen slapping? He said his home was burnt down by arsonist. That was Hody's crew!
  • It is stated by Oda that the devil fruits do not grow stronger,their user grows more imaginative. Now consider that if Wapol was not a total idiot he would be able to eat everything including abstract meanings Kuma is able to push.Think about it for a moment and tell me if you still think Kuma's power is stronger than Wapol's. Now think how many unintroduced devil fruits remain that,in the hands of a user like Kuma can manipulate abstract meanings...
  • Trafalgar Law was able to become a Warlord of the Sea after extracting and delivering 100 pirate hearts to the World Government. Knowing said person's ability, the government could easily kill those pirates slowly and torturously or even force them to do their bidding, similar to what Cutler Beckett did to Davy Jones.
    • In hindsight, the Heart Pirates moniker has a whole new meaning.
  • Hody planned on killing any of the merfolk and fishfolk that signed the petition to migrate the the surface, calling them traitors for sympathizing with humans. If he's willing to kill them for wanting to live alongside humans, then what would it mean for someone like Chimney who the grandchild of Kokoro, who is a mermaid and a human? What would Hody do to someone who is an offspring of a human and merperson/fishperson given his already violent tendencies to humans that did nothing against him personally?
  • It's been shown that the energy steroids caused the users to grow extremely old after a certain amount of time. It has also been stated that the New Fishman Pirates had their giant sea beasts take the steroids as well and at the time, Surume was working alongside them before the Straw-hats showed up. Was it ever confirmed that he was among the sea beasts that took the steroids? If so, what would it mean for him since the last time he was seen, he was carrying Wadatsumi (Who also took an Energy Steroid) out of Fishman Island since he was too big for any of the prisons, as well as the other sea beasts who were forced into working with the New Fishman Pirates? They may have just basically robbed their unwilling servants of most of their lifespan!

Fridge Logic:

  • Fridge Logic: It was stated the queen's body was very weak. Then you see how big Shirahoshi was as a baby...
    • Not entirely impossible, since we don't know how the mermen/fishmen birth process works. She could have laid an egg which grew bigger over gestation.
    • Fridge Brilliance: Maybe the reason she's so frail is because she gave birth to a giant little girl like Shirahoshi!
  • Fridge Logic: In an early episode, Luffy is trapped in a cage, with Buggy the Clown about to fire a Buggy Bomb at him, and Nami burns her hands putting out the fuse. Oh yeah, wait, Luffy is made of rubber. Possibly just a Plot Hole for some.
    • When he did repel the bomb later, he was shown expanding himself. Maybe he couldn't have done it from the cage?
    • Blunt impact can't hurt Luffy, but sharp shrapnel? That would probably do it.
    • The whole cage bomb incident happened before Nami knew Luffy had the powers of the Gum-Gum fruit. She assumed that if Luffy was hit by the Buggy Bomb, he'd go splat like a normal person. The very reason she put the cannon's fuse out was because she didn't want to be a 'murderer.'
    • No, no, no, think about it. Luffy is still vulnerable to explosions and fire, right? Well, the "Buggy Ball" would have exploded on the metal cage first before it would have hit Luffy's rubber body and bounce off- that's why he said "I'll be blown to bits"!
    • If the OP World is divided in four seas by the Grand Line (with the Calm Belts) and the Red Line, and the technology to cross the Calm Belts without being sunk and devoured by Sea Kings is exclusive of the Marines. Then how is it possible the communication between seas? For example: How does Sanji, born in North Blue, meet Luffy in East Blue?.
      • It would seem they could travel to say one of the mountain range that span the circumference of the world and pay for passage over it, referenced when the Strawhats came back to this range in the Thousand Sunny and didn't have the means to go underwater at the moment. We don't know where Zeff and Sanji met, so it could be they moved the restaurant into the weakest of the seas for safety reasons.
      • Not to mention that they have those snail-phone thingies. Wireless communication works pretty well too.
  • If the marines have the technology to enter the Grand Line at any point, what's keeping them from just sailing around one of the calmer seas and crossing directly over to Raftel without fighting through the entirety of Paradise and the New World?
    • Whose to say they can enter from the side like that? Perhaps there is something so powerful it keeps the Marines from going that way? Or maybe they don't want to go there as that holds the secret to the Void century and the less people know of it the better?
    • It's even mentioned that there are some places the Marines simply won't go to, such as Wano Country. Why would they risk going to Raftel?
  • For the longest time, it bothered me that the Straw Hat Pirates apparently have no first mate (although popular opinion is that Zoro is the first mate). And then it hit me... of course they don't have a first mate! Luffy has zero intention of dying, why would he bother picking a first mate?
    • Zoro is the first mate. He is the one who takes charge when Luffy's not around and they are not at sea, then Nami's in charge as Navigator. Zoro is also the voice of reason at times, such as letting Ussopp back in the crew after he left and self-sacrifice by taking Luffy's pain during Thriller Bark. Zoro has his own dreams but is more than willing to give them up to serve the crew and his captain. That is the epitome of the First Mate.
    • Even so, Zoro is not 'officially' the first mate. His statue among the crew is simply swordsman and he has no official job unlike the other crew members. The only real 'job' he has on the ship is to rise the anchor. Nami could almost be consider the first mate since she runs the ship and tells everyone what to do when they are out on sea. She also tends to plan ahead and also acts as Luffy's common sense at times. At Thriller Bark 'everyone' on Luffy's crew was willing to die and give up their dreams to protect Luffy and Sanji offered his life as well before Zoro knocked him out. So, Zoro is not the only one who fulfill the status of first mate.
      • But notice another thing: when someone else takes charge, like Zoro or Nami, Luffy never says anything. The Straw Hats don't need a first mate because anybody can take charge of any situation that may arise depending on who the strongest against a particular threat is.